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IHREC to address court in immigration-law case
Dublin's Four Courts Pic: Ireland's Content Pool

25 Nov 2022 / human rights Print

IHREC to address court in immigration-law case

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) has been given permission by the Supreme Court to appear as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in what it describes as an important immigration-law case.

GO v Minister for Justice concerns the consideration of fundamental rights in the context of deportation orders.

The commission says that the case explores whether, and to what extent, when deciding to deport a foreign-national parent of children lawfully resident in the State, the Minister for Justice should expressly refer to and consider the possible infringement of constitutional rights that such a decision would entail.

High Court test

In the appeal, the Supreme Court will consider whether the test applied by the High Court – that there must be a “meaningful involved relationship” between the parent and children concerned before a breach of constitutional rights would arise for consideration – accurately reflects Irish law.

IHREC has the power to apply to the High Court, Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court for permission to appear as amicus curiae.

This allows the commission to address the court in a non-partisan role on issues concerning human rights and equality that may have wider consequences for society in general.

Sinéad Gibney (IHREC chief commissioner) said that the court’s decision in this case would speak to the minister’s obligation to consider the constitutional rights – and in particular the family rights – of people faced with being separated from family members lawfully resident in Ireland by deportation.

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